How Educational Classes for Patients Enhance Reputation, Promote Healthy Living and Grow New Business

By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer

REI Calendar Lists 50 Events of Interest

Part of the job of every healthcare provider is to be an effective educator—informing, teaching and sometimes persuading patients about getting healthy and staying healthy. We’re talking about what you do, or can do, that’s above and beyond the traditional “informed consent” and elementary “patient education.”

Take this instructional idea a step further: Hold classes for patients and promote the calendar of events via your enewsletter. The payoff is in wellness and healthy living for patients, increased goodwill and patient satisfaction…and additional revenue.

Many hospitals, health systems and medical plans are aggressive with their educational outreach, offering lectures, health fairs, patient classes and the like. But this concept isn’t limited to big budgets or the larger healthcare entities. Solo practitioners, dentists, family practices, physician groups and specialty practices have much to offer and much to gain.

Here’s a quick real-life example from the retail world that illustrates the marketing principle. HSS Co-Founder Stewart Gandolf—a healthy-living advocate—recently purchased rollerblades at REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.), the outdoor sporting goods cooperative near his home.

It turns out that REI had his membership number on file, but not his email address, which he gave them to update the records. With permission, REI sent Stewart their extensive list of classes, and as a result, he signed up for a nature digital photography class.

Stewart reports that, as an REI member (customer), he was thrilled that they offered so many interesting classes practically in his backyard. In addition to winning goodwill and a positive recommendation, this company realized additional revenue (and likely more in the future).

Many (if not most) patients are unaware of the full range of services that you have to offer, so there’s no shortage of interesting and informative topics. For example the family practice that provides classes on healthy eating for diabetic-aware patients or medically-supervised weight loss; the urology practice that presents a series about sensitive Men’s Health issues; and healthy skin and beauty sessions for women at a medispa.

What’s more, you can widen the appeal and drawing power by offering classes on many subjects. (The REI email Calendar of Events sent to Stewart listed dates, times and a two-sentence description for nearly 50 upcoming events…virtually all free and all at his neighborhood store location.)

A bonus here is that patients and prospective patients will be more inclined to attend events when it’s open to include their spouse, family member or friend. Further, classes position you and your practice as an authority and as a continuing resource for the community.

There’s more about capturing permission-based email addresses in this related article. And if you like to brainstorm a bit about your overall healthcare marketing plan with Stewart or one of our marketing executives, connect with us here.

Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer at Healthcare Success
Stewart Gandolf, MBA, is Chief Executive Officer of Healthcare Success, one of the nation's leading healthcare and digital marketing agencies. Over the past 20 years, Stewart has marketed and consulted for over 1,000 healthcare clients, ranging from practices and hospitals to multi-billion dollar corporations. A frequent speaker, Stewart has shared his expertise at over 200 venues nationwide. As an author and expert resource, Stewart has also written for many leading industry publications, including the 21,000 subscriber Healthcare Success Insight blog. Stewart also co-authored, "Cash-Pay Healthcare: Start, Grow & Perfect Your Cash-Pay Healthcare Business." Stewart began his career with leading advertising agencies, including J. Walter Thompson, where he marketed Fortune 500 clients such as Wells Fargo and Bally's Total Fitness.



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